Model calibration using ESEm v1.0.0 -- an open, scalable Earth System Emulator

24 Aug 2021  ·  Duncan Watson-Parris, Andrew Williams, Lucia Deaconu, Philip Stier ·

Large computer models are ubiquitous in the earth sciences. These models often have tens or hundreds of tuneable parameters and can take thousands of core-hours to run to completion while generating terabytes of output. It is becoming common practice to develop emulators as fast approximations, or surrogates, of these models in order to explore the relationships between these inputs and outputs, understand uncertainties and generate large ensembles datasets. While the purpose of these surrogates may differ, their development is often very similar. Here we introduce ESEm: an open-source tool providing a general workflow for emulating and validating a wide variety of models and outputs. It includes efficient routines for sampling these emulators for the purpose of uncertainty quantification and model calibration. It is built on well-established, high-performance libraries to ensure robustness, extensibility and scalability. We demonstrate the flexibility of ESEm through three case-studies using ESEm to reduce parametric uncertainty in a general circulation model, explore precipitation sensitivity in a cloud resolving model and scenario uncertainty in the CMIP6 multi-model ensemble.

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Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics Computational Physics